Last night before I fell asleep I thought of how today I would awake to the start of a new chapter of my life. I was to be a published author and imagined that today I might feel very differently about myself. I was not sure exactly how, but somehow…
Today there are no remarkable personal transformations or firework display to announce the arrival of my book “Women and Problem Gambling”, in fact things are remarkably quiet by comparison to the last few weeks which have consisted of a frantic build up to publication. And actually, that feels rather nice and quite appropriate because the book is now out there in the world speaking for itself, and carrying forward the story of what it is to be a woman for whom gambling has taken over control of life.
This morning I woke to find that snow had very much taken control of Sussex life. I could not travel to work and so here I am working at home, just myself and my dog. The story behind the actual, physical writing process of my book had been very much me and my dog. Writing of course necessitates more than a little isolation and he ( my terrier,Oscar) is always fairly tolerant of my writing if it means he gets to do a little extra sleeping and ideally on my bed. So today, this snow day, the world is muffled and I too am keeping what feels like a restorative comparative silence after weeks and months of being, through my writing, the voice of women I have worked with and of course my finding my own voice as therapist in gambling and women.
So, as I think about it now in the quiet and the stillness, my book I has been written in layers over time. Today is really just the surface layer – publication day. Beneath this layer was my writing, beneath that my years of clinical practice working with gambling addiction, and of course hidden underneath this layer the reasons for the addiction which became clear in the stories women shared with me. They somehow have found the courage to voice what it is that has been so fearful, so painful that it has felt better to stay hidden from it in the misery of gambling addiction.
As I look through my window the sun is out, I can hear the steady drip drip of melting snow falling from the roof and so my guess is that tomorrow I will be back out from under this white blanket and back out into the “real world” again. Voice and all.